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I'm interested in knowing how European French referred to themselves racially before World War II. I realize, in modern France, race is more of a taboo topic (I saw a previous question on this). However, in the past, would these people consider themselves racially to be "white" or did they just call themselves French or European?

I've always thought "whiteness" or "Aryan" was more of a concept that developed in Germanic cultures (England, Germany, Sweden, etc.) whereas the term may have been used in other countries (e.g. Spain, France, etc.), but more so as a descriptor to compare races in their colonies rather than as a primary descriptor of their race (hopefully that makes sense!). However, my lack of French language makes it difficult to know.

Did the French refer themselves as "Blanc" in the same way an Englishman/European American might refer to himself as "White" today?

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  • If that's true, I apologize. I thought it was more of a historical language issue. – Rock Mar 29 '20 at 18:38

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